By Bucky Beaver
Both the Ballard High School girls and boys basketball teams had Kingco playoff games Tuesday night at Juanita High School. Both faced Newport High School in back and forth, high intensity games.
The girls started off the twin bill facing a team that had already beat them twice this season. Ballard took a one point lead after the first quarter and maintained that lead through the third quarter 32 to 31. The Knights opened the 4th quarter with a 9-0 run and never let the Beavers back in the game.
The Knights won 53 to 43 and advanced to the 3rd place game Thursday night. Ballard was led in scoring by juniors Imani Bender with 12, Nancy MacGeorge with 11 and Beverly Verduin with 11.
The Ballard girls team finished the season with 13 wins to 11 loses—twice as many wins as last season and as many wins as the last three years combined. They made the playoffs for the first time in five years. The Beavers graduate two seniors this season, Riley Soukup and Sam Hall, returning 10 players for next season. Four players received all-Kingco conference honors this year: MacGeorge and Verduin were 2nd team; senior Sam Hall was honorable mention; and junior Shelby Bailess was honorable mention.
The boys team played the night cap Tuesday night. As with the girls game the boys game was back and forth tied up after the first quarter and tied at the half 27 to 27. Ballard was up one with four minutes to play in the third before the Knights went on an 8 to 1 run to finish up the third leading 44 to 38.
Ballard could not close the gap in the fourth quarter losing by a final of 61 to 55. Ballard was led in scoring by seniors Raymond Owens and Seth Berger each with 19 points, and Johnny Verduin with 8 points.
The Ballard boys team finished 15-9, winning five more games than last season. The boys team graduates 9 seniors with three juniors returning to next year’s squad. Five players received all-Kingco conference honors this year: Berger was 1st team; Verduin was 2nd team; and seniors Owens, Stuart MacGeorge and Nate Rauda were honorable mention.
Congratulations to all players on a fantastic season!